German International Could Be Final Star Liverpool Need

Liverpool are still very much in the picture to win a major trophy this season. They’re top of the Premier League (but Manchester City have a game in hand) and recently knocked out German giants Bayern Munich to reach the last eight of the Champions League.

Yet when I look at the Reds squad I still think they could do with more creativity. Boss Jurgen Klopp will probably sense that too.

Liverpool’s midfield have at times been too disciplined and more restricted rather than a creative force. That’s to be expected when you fall-back on the settled base of pragmatic stars like James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum.

Brazilian Fabinho has come in but again he’s more of a defensive unit.

New boy Naby Keita hasn’t been the dynamic force that The Reds were hoping for. The Guinean is probably still settling in but will he be creative or will he be more of a box to box midfielder? It remains an unanswered question.

Fellow summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri has stepped up with six goals but the Swiss international hasn’t started regularly and he’s only made two assists in his twenty-one league appearances.

In truth Liverpool have never really replaced Philippe Coutinho, who was a midfield maestro that could bridge the midfield and attack with his fine passing ability and his great dribbling technique.

Now in 2018 the attacking fab three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino were terrific. Salah was in such hot scoring form and between them the three forwards made the Reds tick.

This season has seen the supply coming from the wing-backs, with Andrew Robertson leading the assists chart with his eight league assists. Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has six assists to his name, while Milner is the best performing midfielder creating four assists. Between them Shaqiri, Keita, and Fabinho have created just five!

Adam Lallana, Wijnaldum and captain Henderson have yet to provide an assist for a teammate this season!

While Sadio Mane has stepped up to the plate in 2019, Firmino and Salah have struggled in front of goal. A big part of that will be that they are being denied decent service from the engine room.

The answer to Liverpool’s creative problems could come from Klopp’s homeland, in the form of Bayer Leverkusen star Julian Brandt.

The German internationalist is a direct force that always wants to attack. He possesses fantastic dribbling skills, links up well with the forwards, has an eye for a pass and is versatile performer who can play anywhere in the midfield.

He has played the majority of his football in the centre this term and has scored four goals and created nine assists for his Leverkusen teammates.

The twenty-two year old makes around 1.8 shots per Bundesliga game, 2.6 key passes and completes 1.3 dribbles. He also possesses a passing success rate that touches 82% (Stats from Whoscored).

Liverpool need more spark and versatility from midfield and Brandt could offer that. He certainly looks like a player that would seamlessly fit into a team coached by compatriot Jurgen Klopp.

Julian pipped Leroy Sane to a place in Germany’s World Cup squad last summer. Now the less said about that World Cup campaign the better but it shows you the talent Brandt has that World Cup winning coach Joachim Löw had more faith in him than the Manchester City starlet.

The German boss suggested that Brandt’s all round game and his commitment to the team cause helped with his selection (From Bundesliga.com):

“It was a tight race between Leroy Sane and Julian Brandt. Both have big qualities, both are good in the one-on-one duels,” .

“Julian Brandt was at the Confederations Cup, had some strong games there, and put in good shifts in the training camp too.”

Those hardworking and dedicated qualities are also what Klopp likes to see from his players.

Liverpool have spent the past few transfer windows strengthening areas in their squad that really needed. I think they’ll do the same in the summer and that will see the recruitment team hunting for a creator that can star in the midfield.

German news outlet Bild claim that Julian Brandt will be available at a paltry sum of just €25m. That fee could prove too good to turn down for Liverpool, especially given Brandt’s attacking attributes.

Looking At What Franck Kessie Would Give The Arsenal Midfield

Arsenal will probably need to add more midfield options in the summer.

Longterm Gunners attacking midfielder Aaron Ramsey has already signed a pre-contract that will see the Welshman playing for Italian giants Juventus next season (Source – The Guardian).

There’s still a lot of speculation surrounding German World Cup winning midfield maestro Mesut Ozil. He might be Arsenal’s highest paid player but at times this season he’s struggled to get game time under new coach Unai Emery, who doesn’t seem to trust Mesut fully in the bigger games.

Recent reports in The Sun have linked Arsenal with a move for AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie.

So why would The Gunners fancy The Ivorian?

Well there’s no doubt that the middle-man has talent.

At just twenty-two years of age, Franck has already racked up 93 appearances in Serie A. He’s also managed to feature in fifteen European games. The youngster has won twenty-five caps for the Ivory Coast national team.

The player can also grab goals, he’s found the net fifteen times in Italy’s top flight.

Kessie likes to burst forward, get into the box and have a chance at goal. He’s scored the same amount of league goals this term as Ramsey has for Arsenal. The Milan player isn’t scared of shooting from outside the box either and takes around 1.7 shots per game.

AC Milan coach and legendary Italian midfielder Gennaro Gattuso stated that Franck is a better player than he was, mainly because he can hit the back of the net on a regular basis (Via Goal.com):

“Kessie is far better than I ever was, because he has seven or eight goals in his legs per season.”

But if Arsenal are indeed seriously interested in Kessie, then I think they’ll have to change up their tactics as the Ivorian can’t be used as a direct replacement for Ramsey.

Emery could revert to a 4-3-3 formation and then play Kessie in alongside the disciplined duo of Lucas Torriera and Granit Xhaka. Out of the three, Franck Kessie would be the one tasked to go box to box and that would suit his attributes.

You could also play him in a compact diamond midfield, if Unai wanted to use either Ozil or Henrikh Mkhitaryan as a number ten.

Kessie likes to pick up the ball in deep positions and dribble it forward before passing it to the forwards, similar to Patrick Vieira when he first broke into The Gunners team back in the nineties. Franck is helped by the fact that he remains composed in tight positions and has good close control.

The Ivorian international has a strong work-ethic which is a quality in which Unai Emery likes to see in his players. The Spanish coach also likes to see his stars keeping hold of the ball and being efficient passers, according to Whoscored.com Franck Kessie has an impressive passing success rate of 88.2% in the league this term.

The player might be available at a fee of €40m as AC Milan look at trying to keep away from any FFP issues in the summer.

Franck Kessie would give Arsenal’s midfield a new dynamic force that could directly bridge a gap between the midfield and the attack.

He could help the team evolve but if The Gunners are looking for a straight replacement for Aaron Ramsey, then they shouldn’t bring in Kessie for that role. He needs to be in the engine room.

It will be very interesting to see what Unai Emery does in the next transfer window to refresh his squad and if he can get the players needed to get Arsenal back in the Premier League title picture.

 

Juventus Star Would Be A Top Signing For Liverpool

 

Liverpool have recently been linked with a big move for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, with Talksport stating that a deal could be agreed within weeks. I think it would be a very smart signing, if they can indeed do a deal with the Italian champions.

The Premier League side have some fantastic attacking talent but they can still do with a creative genius who can unlock defences and who can bang in goals from anywhere in the final third.

That’s been proven with the recent lull of form from Mohamed Salah in front of goal. The back-up talents of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi aren’t good enough to compete against Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Dybala hasn’t been at his best for Juve this season but that’s mainly due to playing in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow.

The Argentine attacker can play as a number ten, as a centre-forward or as a right winger. That versatility is something that would suit Jurgen Klopp’s front-line.

With Ronaldo in the Juventus team, he usually plays through the middle or on the left in a 4-3-3 formation. That has meant that Dybala has had to fight with Federico Bernardeschi for the right wing role.

Now while Paulo Dybala has won that particular battle on the most part, his scoring and assist stats on the wing haven’t been as good as they were previously as in the past he’d usually play in the centre.

This term Dybala has scored nine times in his thirty-two league and Champions League appearances. Interestingly he’s started eight games as a centre forward and scored five times. Yet he hasn’t struck once in his nine outings on the right wing. He has been extremely impressive with his passing stats, having an average passing success rate of 89% (via Whoscored)

Last season, as Juve’s main attacker Dybala scored twenty-two league goals in twenty-six Serie A starts.

The twenty-five year old is a terrific, world class forward and that would bring out the best within the Reds attack.

Dybala would give Liverpool a fresh impetus and he’d be hungry to prove himself away from Ronaldo’s shadow. He could be the player that gives the team that creative spark they’ve missed since selling Philippe Coutinho to FC Barcelona in January 2018.

The Argentine international loves to spot a fantastic through ball, he’s exciting from set-pieces, can expertly dribble beyond opponents and he also has a keen eye for goal.

Italian goalkeeping legend and former teammate Gianluigi Buffon has stated that Dybala is one of the world’s best footballers (Via Goal.com):

“Paulo Dybala has grown dramatically over the last two years,” 

“When I talk to directors or friends in football, I’ve been saying for a while that he is good enough to be in the top five players in the world and he wouldn’t be out of place in the top three.

If Liverpool need to make a few impact signings in the summer as they look to build a squad capable of challenging for all the top trophies then, in my opinion, Paulo Dybala would certainly be an impact signing!

Celta Star Brais Méndez Could Give Tottenham More Midfield Options

I think the next transfer window could be a big one for Tottenham Hotspur.

The North London side have slipped away from the Premier League title race once again and the third placed team could still be dragged into a dog fight to finish in the league’s top four positions.

They have progressed into the last eight of the Champions League and will now face English champions Manchester City in the quarter final stage.

But alas Spurs once again look to be tiring as the run-in arrives. The squad hasn’t been strengthened in the last two transfer windows and they’ve lacked real creativity and spark in recent weeks.

I believe Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino needs to add at least four new faces before the next campaign kicks off in August.

One new centre-back would help tighten up the defence, which hasn’t been at their strongest this term. A new back-up striker is once again needed as Harry Kane can’t take on the load for a full season without picking up an injury. Plus the Spurs coach also needs to refreshen his midfield options; with a new holding player and a more attack minded versatile star too.

An issue with this, is the fact that Tottenham have still got to move into their newly developed stadium. That endeavour has meant that the club has had to tighten its purse strings, thus probably why Pochettino hasn’t spent a penny during the last two windows.

That lack of hard cash means that The Lilywhites will need to be smart with whatever funds that they do have. The recruitment team will need to bring any potential and players that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

With that in mind, I think they should look at Celta Vigo midfielder Brais Méndez.

The Spaniard could be a potential signing that adds depth to Pochettino’s attacking midfield options.

Celta haven’t enjoyed the best of seasons this year and currently lie in the relegation zone, four points adrift of safety.

The team’s problem hasn’t come in the final third, they’re still in the top half of Spain’s top flight when it comes to goals scored.

In that regard, Méndez has actually had a pretty good season in La Liga.

The player can play in a various positions. He’s played mainly on the right this term but can also play as an attacking central midfielder, a forward or out on the left flank. Pochettino could be doing with more versatility in his squad.

Brais has been particularly impressive when it comes to spotting passes, creating chances and providing assists for teammates. So far this term he’s laid on seven league assists, which is the  fourth best in La Liga. Only Christian Eriksen has supplied more for Spurs this season.

The attacking midfielder has also found the back of the net five times.

The playmaker hasn’t managed to break the 80% or above stats when it comes to his passing success rate but it should be remembered that he’s playing for a side fighting relegation. Plus he’s nearly there at 78.5% (from Whoscored.com).

As well as being creative, Méndez also works hard to get the ball back for his team. On average he’s making around 2.1 tackles per league game. That’s better than any Spurs midfielder has managed during this campaign.

The Celta youth product’s form has been rewarded with a first call-up into the Spanish senior set-up. He scored the only goal on his international debut as Spain defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina. The midfielder may just be the successor to David Silva in the Spanish national team.

The player himself told AS just how happy he was with his debut:

“Happy for being able to debut and what better way to do it than helping the team”.

Being just twenty-two years old, Brais is also of an age that Mauricio Pochettino likes when he’s signing a new player. The Argentine coach likes to bring in young, enthusiastic players that are hungry to learn and succeed.

Football-Espana reported late last year that Leicester City were interested in the player and were told that his buyout clause was just €25m. That’s a modest fee these days and one that could be tempting to Spurs. It is a fee that might even go down, if Celta get relegated this term.

As I’ve already said, Tottenham Hotspur need to freshen things up in the summer and will need to do it by bringing in the best talent at an affordable price.

Celta Vigo’s Brais Méndez could be just the type of player that will improve this current crop at Spurs!

Introducing You To Glasgow Wednesday FC

In my latest video for Club Development Scotland I went to Springburn in Glasgow to watch a Refuweegee Cup game between Glasgow Community & Co-Operative League sides Glasgow Wednesday and Glasgow United FC.

I managed to catch up with the Glasgow Wednesday boys to learn about their club and how they use it to promote local homeless charity The Invisibles.

It was a pleasure to cover this great team! Follow them on Twitter (@GlasgowWedFC)

Picture Blog: Fulham FC – Craven Cottage

In February, I managed to make my way down to London and during my trip I took in Fulham FC’s stadium Craven Cottage in West London.

I loved the stadium, it’s one of those historic sites that stuns you when you see it.

Enjoy the pics!

Manchester United Need To Make An Impact Signing Like Antoine Griezmann

Manchester United have made big strides under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian coach arrived in December and has taken The Red Devils back into the fight for a top four position in the Premier League and also into the last eight of the Champions League.

I feel United legend Solskjaer has done enough to be offered the managerial role on a full time basis. The quicker that position is properly filled the better as the English giants can then fully concentrate on the future.

That future has to see Man United once again seriously challenging for the top trophies.

In order to do that I think they’ll need bring in a few new faces and, for me, I believe United need to go out and bring in two major statement signings to supplement their squad.

I think a world class centre would be hugely beneficial. Look at the impact Virgil van Dijk has made since arriving at Liverpool in January 2018. A big name like a Kalidou Koulibaly, a Toby Alderweireld or a Raphaël Varane would certainly fill the bill. All three have been linked with a move to Old Trafford at one point this term.

Another position that I believe that could be improved upon with a big name signing would be in the frontline.

Topscorer Romelu Lukaku has had confidence and fitness issues at times this season, Anthony Martial’s season has also been hampered with injuries this term and Jesse Lingard is a hardworking attacker but maybe not one that can always unlock the toughest of defences.

You’ve got a real talent in Marcus Rashford but he too can be inconsistent as he’s still learning his trade and let’s face it he can’t play in more than one position at a time.

Chilean international Alexis Sanchez hasn’t proven himself at Old Trafford since his much heralded arrival in early 2018. He hasn’t been creative enough, nor has he scored enough and he hasn’t turned up in the big games.

The thirty-year old seems to have lost some of his pace and certainly hasn’t had the desire he used to show on a weekly basis whilst playing for Arsenal. It could be time for United to cut their losses and move Alexis on during the summer.

The Manchester Evening News have recently reported that Man United could be favourites to sign Antoine Greizmann if he were to become available in the next transfer window.

The French World Cup winner has had a ‘Will he won’t he?‘ at Atletico Madrid for the past three years, ending up in him staying at Atleti each and every time. Yet once again it seems as though the rumours are once again hotting up, with Spanish media outlet Sport stating he now wants to leave the Spanish capital.

A move to Old Trafford could be huge for both United and the Griezmann himself.

Man United would be getting that huge attack-minded signing. One that’s scored 131 goals in 312 La Liga games.

He’s a forward that possess pace, plenty of intelligence, who can set up teammates and can perform on the big occasions. He’s a player that can dribble beyond opponents, who can finish from free-kicks and can keep the ball in tight spots and when he’s under pressure.

Greizmann would bring that winning experience and big game mentality, he’s another player that has a strong relationship with current United maestro Paul Pogba.

He would also add much needed versatility. Yes he’d love to play as the central striker and I’m sure he’d get that opportunity but he can also star in either wing or as a number ten.

Antoine would be a perfect foil if he were to play in behind Lukaku. The Belgian can hold it up, go into the right wing or come deep. That would allow Griezmann the chance to run in behind and given freedom in front of goal. The French internationalist would also lay on a great supply for Lukaku, Martial and/or Rashford.

United haven’t had a strong player, playing week in and week out, on the right flank and Antoine Griezmann could fill in that void too.

The options are almost endless on how the Frenchman would benefit the Man United team, if he were to sign from Atletico Madrid.

Now others will be interested.

FC Barcelona have been heavily linked with his signature in the past but that documentary that Antoine starred in last summer to tell the world he wasn’t going to Barca could’ve possibly burned his bridges at the Camp Nou.

If he wants to leave then surely the player will want to join a huge club with a great brand and you don’t get much bigger and better than Manchester United.

His image consultant once said that the move to Old Trafford would make a lot of commercial sense (Via The Independent):

“When I read articles about a hypothetical transfer to Manchester United I think it would be the ideal commercial scenario,”

“He would play at Beckham’s former club, which is his idol, with the same legendary number on his back.”

If Antoine Griezmann wants to move and wants to prove himself elsewhere, then what better place to do that than at Man United?

Will it be another summer saga that sees Antoine stay in Madrid? Or will he finally jump ship? Only time will tell.

Chelsea Should Keep Hold Of Tammy Abraham Next Season

Young striker Tammy Abraham has told Sky Sports that his main desire for next season is to break into the Chelsea first team:

“That’s the aim going into next season,”  

“As a young kid, I’ve always believed I will play for Chelsea. I always believe that.”

“I think I have the ability to. I just have to, when I get the opportunity, grab it with two hands.”

I think the twenty-one year old deserves the chance to prove himself at The Blues next term.

The forward has had three loan spells away from Stamford Bridge in each of the last three seasons.

In the 2016-17 season, Tammy twenty-three goals in The Championship as he impressed at Bristol City. After that he spent a year with Swansea City scoring five times as the Swans struggled in the Premier League. During this campaign the youngster has once again shone in The Championship, scoring twenty-one league goals in thirty-one appearances for Aston Villa.

His performances during these loan spells have seen the striker receive international recognition, he has appeared twice for Gareth Southgate’s England side.

Villa manager Dean Smith heaped praise on Tammy back in December (Source – Express and Star):

“At the moment we are getting the best out of him and long may that continue. He is wonderful to work with and has a great attitude and aptitude to learn. He will get better and better.”

Abraham’s goals have helped propel Aston Villa into the play-off places.

He’s a hitman that will work hard for his team. He remains composed in front of goal, has a decent turn of pace, can win the ball in the air, is good at linking up with those around him, strong enough to take a challenge, has the feet and awareness that allows him to keep the ball in tight situations and he can also spot a pass.

His parent club Chelsea have had their issues in front of goal in the past few seasons.

Olivier Giroud is good at the hold-up play and bringing in others but the French World Cup winner doesn’t grab enough Premier League goals. Big money signing Alvaro Morata was never consistent enough and that’s why the Spaniard was allowed to leave the club on loan in January. Michy Batshuayi hasn’t significantly impressed any Chelsea gaffer since his arrival in 2016 and he’s struggled to get going at Crystal Palace this year.

Morata was replaced in the Chelsea squad by loanee Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentine is a proven goalscorer on the continent and he has shown glimpses of what he can do at the London club but he hasn’t been sensational by any stretch.

Chelsea have been issued with a two window transfer ban by FIFA and that ban will impact them greatly, especially in the forward areas. They will no longer be able to go out and solve a striking problem by spending millions on a proven goalscorer.

That means they’ll have the same misfiring faces to call upon next season.

I honestly believe that the Blues would be foolish to allow Tammy Abraham to leave again (even if it’s just another loan) and not have him vying for a striking place in their squad.

The young attacker seems determined to prove himself at Chelsea, surely next term is the best time to give him his opportunity. He’s already shown us that he can handle the rigours of top flight football and given opportunities he’ll find the net.

By all means have experienced forwards there to help him out. Let him learn from the veterans and have him prove his worth before he gets the starts.

If Tammy Abraham can’t get a chance at Chelsea in 2019, then when will he get that chance?

 

Ismaila Sarr Might Be The Right Winger Arsenal Are Looking For

Copyright – StadeRennais.com

I recently waxed lyrical about Unai Emery’s impact at Arsenal during his first season in charge at The Emirates.

The Spanish coach has done a great job in getting The Gunners back on track and he’s managed to get the best out of his squad.

But with that being said I also pointed out that the Arsenal gaffer needs to bring in a new right winger to give his team better balance and an attacking outlet on that flank.

Quite a few of the Arsenal side have been given the opportunity to make that position their own but none of them have managed to do that!

So I think Emery will need to bring in a new recruit for that role when the transfer window reopens in the summer.

When looking at The Gunners and their potential recruitment policy, I’d fully expect Arsenal to look for young talented players with potential and that are ready to prove themselves by stepping up a level, rather than the costlier option of buying ready made world class stars.

If that is indeed the case, then they might take a look at Stade Rennais FC forward Ismaila Sarr.

The twenty-one year old Senegalese internationalist has played in twenty-seven Ligue 1 games this season and in a further nine Europa League fixtures. In those thirty-six matches; Sarr has managed to score nine goals, create eight assists, make around 2 shots per game and 1.6 successful dribbles (Source – Whoscored).

He’s done that by playing the majority of his football on the right wing!

Arsenal witnessed Sarr’s ability up close and personal, when he scored in his side’s 3-1 home win over The Gunners in the Europa League. In that game Ismaila completed two dribbles, had a 78% passing success rate and hit four shots at Petr Cech’s goal.

Now the Premier League giants may have eventually won the tie over Rennes but Sarr’s quality would have made the Gunners scouting team sit up and take notice.

Ismaila Sarr possess electrifying pace, has great close control and loves to dribble beyond opponents. He’s the type of wide player that would get the Arsenal support off of their luxurious seats.

He’s a young player that knows how to score and has an eye for an assist.

I’m not the only one that thinks Emery should check out the Senegalese attacker.

The Sun reported recently that Gunners legend and former French winger Robert Pires also believes Sarr has plenty of potential:

“He has the profile to evolve at the Gunners and would adapt quickly to the way of play wanted by Unai Emery.”

“He’s a wide player, a dribbler who runs fast and is able to score.”

In that same article, a fee of £20m is being mentioned as what Rennes would want for the youngster.

That’s the kind of price that would really appeal to Arsenal.

Gunners manager Unai Emery has a history of bringing in young talent for a fair price and developing those players into top stars.

Personally, I think the Spaniard could do something similar with Ismaila Sarr if they were to purchase the winger!

Liverpool Defender Joël Matip Deserves A Lot Of Credit!

Joël Matip’s ability has never been in doubt. We all knew that the Cameroonian defender had the talent to impress in Liverpool’s backline.

The centre-back just needed to stay clear of injuries and find consistency.

He looked fairly decent in his first two seasons at Anfield but every time he’d get into the rhythm of things and find his best form Matip would drop out due to injury. He still hasn’t managed to make thirty Premier League appearances in a single season.

When Virgil van Dijk arrived at Liverpool in January 2018, Matip found himself down the pecking order. By the start of this term, Joël was Jurgen Klopp’s fourth choice centre-half with Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren ahead of him in the queue.

It was felt that Matip would struggle to get himself back into the team as a regular starter. It believed that due to his various injury problems, that Klopp couldn’t rely on Joël.

That meant that in the early parts of this term, Matip would be an outsider looking in. He once again missed a month of this campaign after broke his collarbone in an outing against Napoli in the Champions League.

By the time Joël Matip battled back from his latest setback, the international defender was very much needed as Gomez was still out with his own injury and Lovren has missed most of this year due to a hamstring issue.

Matip has comeback into the starting eleven and he’s impressed. He’s featured in ten games in 2019 and played the full ninety minutes in each of those outings.

The former Schalke 04 centre-back has been extremely impressive as of late, helping his side keep cleansheets in five of this ten starts this year.

He was particularly impressive in the 0-0 draws with Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

In his Premier League games (Via Whoscored); Matip has won 2.5 aerial duels per game, has an average passing success rate of 86.5%, he makes around 1.8 tackles per outing and 3.5 clearances.

Now yes Virgil van Dijk is a world class defender and yes everyone that plays beside him seems to shine but Matip has had to come in, proved doubters wrong and has kept The Reds on track for a league success and Champions League glory.

The twenty-seven year old has decent pace, high concentration levels and remains composed under pressure. That’s helped him forge a strong partnership with Virgil.

While Joël scored an own goal in the second leg of the Champions League tie with Bayern, he could do very little about what happened. But the best thing about that moment was his reaction. The centre-back remained calm and produced a stunning display as he help his side to win the fixture. No one bettered his five successful tackles as he kept Robert Lewandowski at bay!

After the game Reds boss Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on his centre-back (Source – Liverpoolfc.com):

‘From my side, you cannot get more [praise] because he is an outstanding player. It’s unbelievable how he is doing.’

‘We were really unlucky with the situation in the centre-half position because so many injuries is really rare, hopefully that’s now finished.’

If Liverpool are to win their first Premier League title this season or if they’re going to go all the way in the Champions League, then they will have to thank Joël Matip for not giving up on himself and coming back from injuries ready to fight for his team’s cause!